Taken from his mother at two weeks old, Nim was a chimpanzee raised among humans in an experiment to see if chimpanzees could learn sign language and communicate with humans. Project Nim, a documentary made by the same team that made the Oscar-winning documentary Man on Wire, covers Nim’s story from his birth in 1973 to his death in 2000. And what a story it is. From his early days in a brownstone on Manhattan’s Upper West Side to an estate in Riverdale, NY, an animal testing lab, and ultimately to an animal sanctuary in Texas. And what did they learn? A chimp is a chimp and should never be taken from his mother.
The story is masterfully told by the filmmakers in this funny, provocative, touching and extremely worthwhile documentary.